This chapter investigates the health and safety measures that are currently in place to reduce accidents and injuries on construction sites. In order to prevent accidents in construction it is not just a matter of setting up a list of rules and making safety inspections, although both of these have their place (Holt, 2001). Holt (2001) suggests that a system for managing health and safety is required that meets the needs of the business and complies with the law.
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This chapter intends to identify these strategies used and highlight the benefits to the industry in implementing them.
The most important overall method is to implement the CDM regulations 2007 successfully, however within these regulations there are specific measures that can provide better results.
The HSE concluded in ‘Blackspot Construction’ that 70% of the deaths on construction sites could have been prevented by positive action by managers within the industry (Joyce, 2001).
The general principles of prevention as stated in regulation 7 of the CDM regulations 2007 are as follows:
i.Every person on whom a duty is placed by these Regulations in relation to the design, planning and preparation of a project shall take account of the general principles of prevention in the performance of those duties during all stages of the project.
ii.Every person on whom a duty is placed by these Regulations in relation to the construction phase of a project shall ensure so far as is reasonably practicable that the general principles of prevention are applied in the carrying out of the construction work.
The provision for health, safety and welfare of workers involved on construction sites was not included in the CDM Regulations 1994 as it was the responsibility of the CHSW 1996; however these regulations have now been revoked by the CDM regulations 2007. These regulations set out the requirements for the provision of welfare facilities to be provided by the contractors as it has recently been recognized that the health and safety of workers is directly affected by their personal welfare (Joyce, 2007). The provision of high welfare facilities is likely to reduce the number of accidents and injuries on construction sites as it promotes recruitment, good morale and employee retention.
These reasons alone should be sufficient justification for the investment in welfare facilities which should encourage the client and contractors to ensure that they are provided on construction sites from the outset to an acceptable level. Without the provision of welfare facilities workers are likely to be cold, overheated, dirty, dehydrated and uncomfortable (Joyce, 2007), this in turn will have an effect on the efficiency and effectiveness of their work undertaken creating an unsafe environment to themselves and their fellow workers.
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